Rivers: So I love to hate on Doc Rivers, I really do. I think his in-game personnel and time management are mediocre at best (i.e. Sam Cassell), but I haven’t been being honest with myself. The Celtics always come out at half and play a great third quarter. Obviously part of this is just the general focus of the team, a fair amount of which independently emanates from the players (KG). But it’s unfair to not give Doc some credit for inspiring those guys in the locker room. Some very good coaches (Roy Williams) are not masters of the in-game adjustment but have just the right touch when it comes to motivation. I’m not hopping on the Doc Rivers train, but he’s currently outcoaching one of the greats and, well, you got to respect that.
The Celtics: Ok, so I spent a ton of time prior to the Finals detailing all the reasons I was going to root for the Lakers instead of the Celtics. But you want to know what? I was rooting for Boston last night. I’m not exactly sure why. Part of me just thought it would be hilarious if the most over-hyped finals ever ended in 5. I pretty much find anything funny if it pisses off Stern. But a good part of it was just a healthy sense of respect. This Celtics team is clearly the better squad and deserves to win this championship.
Paul Pierce: And for some reason I am starting to like Paul Pierce and it’s not just because he’s a bad-ass out there. I used to find him smug (my favorite pejorative for an NBA player), but I actually feel as if he has shown a lot of class and focus out there on the floor. Despite the seemingly alpha-male status of KG, Pierce remains the quiet leader of this squad. I still think his game is a bit slovenly, but my ire has receded.
Allen: A tip of the ole’ hat to Allen for deciding to show up this playoffs.
Race: Has anybody noticed (I’m sure you have) the odd racial dynamics of this NBA Finals? In the 80’s, the Celtics were the whitest team in the NBA while the Lakers had a decidedly black vibe. But now this LA team may be the whitest in the whole Association and the Celtics coach is giving speeches about African spiritualism and Apartheid. Did anybody notice when Jackson had Vujacic, Farmar, Mihm and Walton on the floor at once? I don’t think there have been that many white guys on the Lakers since they were in Minneapolis.
Bill Walton: He’s back? Damn it! I can just hear him now: “that was the greatest in-bounds pass during a second quarter I’ve ever witnessed in the Finals.”
There Can Only Be One: So obviously this most recent compilation “there can only be one” commercial is earth-shatteringly awesome. Every time they cut to Manu looking tortured on the sidelines I want to cry like a little girl. Good job, NBA. I had officially gotten off the bandwagon on those commercials, but you pulled them out of the gutter quite nicely.
Mark Jackson: His whole conception of “fake hustle” last night was actually pretty brilliant. Way to delineate between guys who make plays and guys who want to make sure they don’t get ripped on for not making plays.
McDonald’s Kids Soccer Commercial: I can’t tell whether I’m pumped McDonald’s used Os Mutantes’ “A Minha Menina” during their commercial or if I’m frustrated they may have corrupted a great song, but honestly, I’m leaning towards the former.